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UNFPA, Wesley Zaidan join hands on women empowerment project

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Women and girls participate in a UN programme in Cambodia. UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR OFFICE

UNFPA, Wesley Zaidan join hands on women empowerment project

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is set to join hands with the Japan-based Wesley Zaidan Foundation to support the Pathway to Gender Equality in Cambodia – a project aimed at safeguarding women and young girls against gender-based violence (GBV).

The partnership project will start in February, according to a joint press statement on January 28.

UNFPA said the partnership will contribute to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals on health and wellbeing for all (Goal 3) and on Gender Equality and empowering all women and girls (Goal 5).

According to the UNFPA, over 30 per cent of women in Cambodia have experienced physical, sexual or emotional intimate partner violence in their lifetime, and this prevalence is estimated to be getting worse due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Not all GBV survivors are accessing the services they need though many policies and GBV response services have been established in Cambodia. Only 24 per cent of women who have experienced intimate partner violence could receive support from formal service providers.

The two partners will also work closely with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to develop and introduce an innovative digital platform – a mobile application to educate women and young people on sexual harassment, which includes useful information such as how to identify and protect themselves from any forms of violence, among others.

“Women and girls safety and free from fears of being harassed and violated in public spaces and at home is our top priority. We believe that the new innovative digital technology platform will help prevent and protect vulnerable women and girls from all forms of violence in Cambodia during and beyond the pandemic,” said Golden Mulilo, UNFPA representative in Cambodia.

Hikari Kokai, country director of Wesley Zaidan, stressed the importance of empowering women, saying it requires that the society where they live in enable them to utilise their own personal gifts and talents with confidence and joy without fear and discrimination.

“We believe this project promotes the empowerment of women and girls in Cambodia and contributes to the elimination of gender-based violence in Asia, and in the world,” she said.

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